Learning As Leadership

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 10 2011

Teacher Charades

In my tutoring group on Friday, I let students play an improv game, which is basically just a fancy way of saying we played charades.

My incredibly talented students blew through the words in twice the speed I anticipated. Their acting and creativity was amazing, and they instantly guessed things I thought would take them forever to depict. Out of cards and with plenty of time left, the game deteriorated into impressions, and students began impersonating their favorite celebrities, their friends, and a few teachers.

It was hilarious and so spot on. Since my self esteem isn’t low enough this week, I was like, okay, do me.

Arionna launched a hilarious and extremely realistic impression of my fruitless attempts to get the class quiet.

“Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuys! Come on! Sit down!”

Truth hurts.

I said okay, do Ms. R.

“SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET!!!” Arionna screammed, and then slammed her fist on a desk.


Okay, do Ms. K.

Another impression of a teacher being negative towards children. We went through a bunch more teachers and administrators, and every impression was of that teacher or admin yelling or negatively demanding that kids behave. I thought it was very interesting that this is what our trademarks are to students. That is our character.

Finally, I asked the student, who seriously was nailing all the impressions, to do the other Ms. W.

Arionna’s demeanor totally changed. Her face relaxed into a smile, and she snapped her fingers and said, “Guys! You guys are rockstars! Wow oh wowowowowowowowow! Rockstars! So smart! So smart!”

I was pretty speechless and haven’t been able to stop reading into this game of charades since yesterday.

Did I mention that Ms. W. is hands-down the best teacher at our school, with a perfectly managed classroom, totally invested students, and test scores that climb exponentially?

Makes ya think.

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    a Teach For America teacher’s blog

    St. Louis
    Middle School

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